Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Marine Oil Spills: Protecting and Assessing the Health and Well-Being of Communities: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

Oil spills have potential health and public health consequences both for responders and affected communities; yet neither the current command structure nor the compensation structure account well for responding to these aspects of spills. To explore opportunities to improve preparedness, response, and recovery from oil spills the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine asked the Health and Medical Division to convene a public workshop titled, Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Offshore Oil Spills: A Workshop on Research Needs to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Communities. The workshop objectives were to explore research needs and other opportunities for improving public health preparedness, response, and protection related to oil spills; consider how to work within and how to complement the existing oil spill response framework to improve the protection of community health and well-being; to inform discussions about how the Gulf Research Program (GRP) and other divisions of the National Academies can support these efforts; and to foster connections among public health, oil spill practitioners, disaster research communities, and leaders from communities affected by oil spills. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of the session discussions.